Caren Milloy has been working at Jisc for over 13 years and is a Deputy Director of Jisc Collections, responsible for leading the research and communications activity. Initially focused on licensing, Caren undertook a wide range of negotiations for database and e-book agreements and launched the original Hairdressing Training service. In 2007 she changed focus to lead the Jisc national e-books observatory project and ever since she has been known as the e-books queen of Jisc. If you ask her, she will say that she has a love-hate relationship with e-books – annoyed that the same challenges and issues remain – excited about how they really can provide equity of access to students. She recalls that one of her scariest (though most exhilarating) moments was presenting the findings of the observatory project at the Tools of Change conference in New York – she certainly needed a Manhattan after that!
In 2010, not content with just current e-books, Caren took on the role of Head of Projects, and worked to bring several archives of digital books together on one platform. This involved lots of licensing as well as spending several days looking in detail at MARC records – time she will never forget (nor get back)! However, the fact that she got to work with extremely enthusiastic academics in the development of the Jisc Historic Texts platform really brought home just how important access to digital content is for teaching, learning and research.
Such enthusiasm is infectious and has remained a core motivator for Caren in the many projects that she has managed. None more so, however, than the five-year research study OAPEN-UK. Gathering an evidence base to help stakeholders make informed decisions around the transition to open access monograph publishing meant hours of workshops, focus groups, in-depth case studies, interviews, conferences and quantitative research. Caren loved every moment of it! Talking to and working collaboratively with researchers, publishers, learned societies, librarians, Pro-VCs, research staff, finance directors and funders was a fantastic opportunity to gather a real understanding of the monograph landscape.
Caren is ensuring that e-books remain high on the Jisc agenda with a focus on e-textbook research to support Jisc Collections’ licensing and negotiation in this area and continued collaboration to take forward the recommendations from the OAPEN-UK report.
Although she loves e-books, you will rarely see Caren reading. This is mainly due to her very active two-year-old who insists on reading his books, not mummy’s ones ☺.